In an email addressed to the members of the Faculty Steering Committee (FSC), Paul Tobias, chair of the Board of Trustees (BOT), stated that the BOT will continue to move forward with program review.
This response came after tenured and tenure-track faculty passed a resolution proposing that the elimination of 15 FTE positions be made only through non-renewal of adjunct and visiting professors’ contracts, voluntary early-retirement packages and natural attrition – the usual reduction in faculty size due to natural causes including retirement, resignation or death – and not by cutting tenured and tenure-track faculty as had been originally mandated by the BOT. This resolution passed at the faculty meeting on Thursday, March 18 with 89 votes of yes, one vote of no and four abstentions.
“We truly understand your response as presented in the faculty resolution,” Tobias’ email to the FSC stated. “However, the problems we collectively confront cannot, in our judgment, be solved by incremental remedies. The issues require more prompt and fundamental attention than you propose.”
Albion’s faculty is currently comprised of 105 tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 57 adjunct or visiting professors.
The faculty’s resolution, authored by the FSC, was presented to the BOT by president Randall.
“The (March 18) motion represents a good faith effort by the faculty to address the BOT mandate,” said Thom Wilch, chair of the FSC and professor of geology, before the BOT’s decision regarding the resolution was announced. “It is our sincere hope that the BOT will carefully consider and accept our motion.”
The March 18 resolution from the FSC came after a series of three motions were presented by Randall and provost Susan Conner at a March 3 faculty meeting. At the recommendation of the Curriculum and Resources Committee (C&RC), none of these motions were seconded and were therefore withdrawn. These motions read as follows:
1) Be it moved that C&RC will conduct a program review and provide recommendations to the faculty as a whole.
2) Be it moved that an ad hoc committee be elected by the faculty (2 representatives per division) to conduct preliminary program review, providing advice to C&RC. C&RC will then provide recommendations to the faculty as a whole.
3) Be it moved that an ad hoc committee be composed of the members of the Faculty Steering Committee and chairs of standing committees to conduct preliminary program review, providing assistance to C&RC. C&RC will then provide recommendations to the faculty as a whole.
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